Great Britain Concise Catalogue 2016 by Hugh Jefferies
|Great Britain Concise Catalogue 2016 by Hugh Jefferies|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The 30th anniversary of the first publication sees the publication of the 31st edition which is of the same high standard to which we've become accuestomed. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: May 2016|
|Publisher: Stanley Gibbons Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
It's difficult to believe that it's the 30th anniversary of the first publication of Great Britain Concise, but this is the thirty-first edition, with just under 500 pages and over three and a half thousand illustrations. It feels almost painful to look back to the days when the choice was between the Collect British Stamps series which never pretended (or pretends) to be more than a checklist (but got many people off to a sound start - myself included) and the specialised series, which is beyond the purse of many amateur collectors. Great Britain Concise sits comfortably between the two extremes with an affordable cover price.
As you would expect, prices have been reviewed throughout, with increases in all periods from line engraved through to recent definitives - a mixed blessing if you're still filling in gaps in your collection. Listings are complete from May 1840 to April 2016 (each different stamp design is illustrated in full colour), with prices for definitives and commemoratives, regionals, postage dues, departmental officials, postal fiscals, errors, first day covers, booklets, specimens and post office sheets. There's a helpful commemorative design index, although this would have been easier to use if it had directed me to a page number rather than a catalogue number - but that's me being Mistress Picky again.
Post Office Telegraph Stamps are something of a specialist area (the stamps were only in use for a little over five years), but the listing is based on listings in the GB specialised catalogue and includes major errors and specimens. At the other end of stamp history, listings of Post & Go stamps are brought up to date. It's not an area in which I've had much interest but I found the notes and illustrations illuminating and interesting, but then the additional information has always been a major feature of these catalogues and one which we've perhaps come to accept as standard.
Machins are well represented: the definitives are amalgamated in a separate section, with the highly collectable source and date codes individually priced. I won't list all the various specialities, such as gutter pairs, but I couldn't think of any omissions.
Production values are high: the illustrations give an excellent representation of colour (I've checked a few!) and whilst the print is small this is only to be expected given the reasonable cover price of the book. It's easy in use: despite being a paperback I found that the book rested open without using brute force on the spine other for a few pages at the very beginning and end of the book.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might well enjoy First Class: A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps by Chris West.
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Catalogue 2016 by Hugh Jefferies at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Catalogue 2016 by Hugh Jefferies at Amazon.com.
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